6 Best Exercises for Women to Get Toned Thighs & Butt

Squats and other form of bodyweight exercises can help tone your thighs and butt. (Image via Unsplash / SUNDAY II SUNDAY)
Squats and other bodyweight exercises can help tone the thighs and butt. (Image via Unsplash/SUNDAY II SUNDAY)

The butt and thighs make up 60 percent of muscle mass. Exercises can strengthen, tighten, and tone the butt, thighs, quads, hamstrings, and calves.

Some of the best thigh and butt exercises can be done at home by utilizing just your bodyweight.

Form is key, but once you master bodyweight, you can do any of these movements by adding weight in the form of dumbbells or kettlebells. Before you start any exercise routine, make sure to consult your doctor.

Best Exercises to Tone Thighs and Butt

Here's a look at six such exercises:

1) Narrow Squat

The narrow-stance squat is a great exercise for toning the thighs, hips, and butt with an emphasis on the quads.

Many people can't go as deep in a narrow-stance squat as with a wider squat, but that's normal. The narrow-stance squat is a versatile exercise that can be used for time or reps in any workout.

Here's how you do a narrow squat:

  • Stand with your feet together, and squat down straight, shooting your hips back and keeping your weight in your heels.
  • Make sure to keep your core engaged and chest lifted throughout the movement.
  • Squeeze your glutes to come back up to standing position.


2) Sumo Squat

The sumo squat is a great lower body strength exercise that tones the inner thighs and glutes — all without the massive pressure on the knees traditional squats exert.

For lifters with good core strength, the sumo squat offers a different challenge, as it requires extra stability to keep you from moving forward or backward.

How to do it?

  • From a standing position, place your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, and turn your toes out slightly.
  • Squat down till your thighs are parallel to the floor, keeping your knees behind your toes.
  • Engage your core; keep your back straight, and pause when you are in this position.
  • To stand up again, push against the balls of your feet and through the outside of your foot.


3) Pile Squat

Plie squats are great for targeting the inner thighs and glutes, making them a terrific exercise for those who want to shape their butt. When learning how to do a plie Squat, it's important to point your toes out in a wide stance position. That will help target your inner thighs, hamstrings, and glutes.

How to do it?

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and toes turned out at a 45-degree angle.
  • Bend your knees, and lower your body till you're almost sitting, keeping your back straight and abs tight.
  • Squeeze your butt muscles, and come to a standing position.
  • If you want to make it more challenging, add weights to increase the intensity of the plie squats, and work on your upper body for additional muscle gain.


4) Alternating Front Lunge

Alternate lunges are a lower body exercise that strengthens virtually all the leg muscles and butt while also getting the heart rate up to help burn fat.

This movement is the most popular and commonly used exercise for training the lower body, and with good reason: It activates all the leg muscles and trains the lower body to fire.

How to do it?

  • Stand tall, with feet hip-width apart, core engaged, and chest lifted.
  • Step forward with your right foot, and bend both knees till they're bent to about 90 degrees.
  • Push off from your front foot to come back to standing position.
  • Switch to the other side by stepping your left foot forward.
  • Continue alternating sides for the full 30 seconds.


5) Bent Knee Glute Kickback

It's a classic toning move that works the legs and booty. Adding resistance bands placed on your thighs just above your knees makes this pose even more effective. Instead of flying through the movements, slow down, and move with purpose.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • If you're working on a non-slip rug or padded mat, place your forearms and knees on the floor.
  • Engage your core, drawing in your lower abs.
  • Flex your left foot as you kick it toward the ceiling; lower it back down with control.
  • Do two rounds of this movement before repeating on the other side.


6) Clamshell

The clamshell strengthens the hip and leg muscles, as well as the glutes. It also helps stabilize the muscles around the pelvis.

How to do it?

  • Lie on your right side, resting your head on your right hand. Keep your hips, heels, and forehead in line.
  • Place your left hand on the floor for support. Bend both knees, and lift your top knee towards your chest, and lower it back down.
  • Repeat this movement on the opposite side - initially for two rounds - before repeating it again on the other side.



Eventually, the best butt and thigh exercises are ones you enjoy and look forward to doing.

So whether it's your favorite boot camp class or a workout of your own design, do what you enjoy, and have fun with it.

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Edited by Bhargav